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US Fish and Shellfish market report

Everything you need to make the right decisions

Providing the most comprehensive and up-to-date information and analysis of the Fish and Shellfish market, its consumers and the major players who make up that market.

Market

Point of sale market data

In conjunction with IRi, extensive point of sale data shows you what consumers are spending their money on

Market Size

How big is the market today and what is our 5 year forecast? Includes both best & worst case scenarios

Market Segmentation

What are the different segments within the market and how are those individual segments performing?

Consumer

Consumer behaviors

What are consumers looking for, what drives their buying habits and what are their main purchase influencers?

Demographic breakdown

From iGen & Millennials to Baby Boomers & beyond. Who is spending money and what are they spending it on?

Representative sample

We gather our data from real-world consumers, selected to accurately reflect precise global demographics

Players

Company strategy

What are the key players doing, what has been successful for them and what was their marketing spend?

Product innovation

Using data from our Global New Product Database, what products were launched and how well were they perceived?

Opportunities

What happens next, which areas are likely to experience growth and what opportunities exist within the market?

Expert analysis from a specialist in the field

Written by Emma Clifford, a leading analyst in the Food & Drink sector, her extensive knowledge delivers in-depth commentary and analysis to highlight current trends and add expert context to the numbers.

A combination of rising prices and the outlook for a sustained squeeze on real incomes spells troublesome times for the fish and shellfish market. This is set to entrench and exacerbate the impact of these products’ relatively high expense in limiting usage. However, it is not all bad news, and there is potential for frozen fish/shellfish to prosper in this more austere climate. Emma Clifford
Associate Director - Food & Drink

Mintel has the answers you’re looking for

What are the key challenges facing the industry and how fast are its rates of growth? Who is the consumer and what do they want? Where are the opportunities, where are the risks and what lies ahead?

This report discusses the following key topics:

Products covered in this Report

This Report discusses the retail sales of seafood for in-home consumption. Seafood is defined for the purposes of this Report to include fish (fin fish) and shellfish (including crustaceans), whether chilled, frozen or ambient. This Report includes plain, as well as processed and ready-to-cook products.

The word ‘ambient’ is used to refer to the segment traditionally dominated by canned fish, which now also includes ambient fish in tubs, pouches and jars.

Excluded from this Report are seafood-based ready meals and sales of seafood through the catering sector, eg fish and chip shops. Sales of sushi are also excluded.

The market size in this Report differs from the Mintel Market Sizes market size for the category because the Mintel Market Sizes figure includes sales of ready meals and meal centres, which this Report does not include.

It also differs from the Mintel Market Sizes market size for the category because the Mintel Market Sizes figure excludes sales of chilled plain whole, filleted or portioned fish, which this Report includes.

Please note that as a result of updated market information, Mintel has adjusted the market size data for frozen fish and shellfish from the previous Report.

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Table of contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Definition
      • Executive Summary

        • The issues
          • Sales stagnate in 2016, amid years of increases
            • Figure 1: Total US sales and fan chart forecast of fish and shellfish, at current prices, 2012-22
          • Flavor deterring some
            • Figure 2: Reasons for purchase, September 2017
          • The opportunities
            • Suggestions could encourage purchase
              • Figure 3: Attitudes toward fish/shellfish preparation, any agree, by age, September 2017
            • Packaging improvement potential
              • Figure 4: Increasing purchase, September 2017
            • Hispanic Millennials may embrace affordable, sustainable options
              • Figure 5: Attitudes toward fish/shellfish, by Hispanic origin, September 2017
            • What it means
            • The Market – What You Need to Know

              • Sales slow, growth should resume
                • Frozen, shelf-stable face dim sales future, brighter prospects for fresh
                  • Sales of competitive proteins fall
                    • Regulators encourage fish consumption
                    • Market Size and Forecast

                      • Sales stagnate in 2016, amid years of increases
                        • Figure 6: Total US sales and fan chart forecast of fish and shellfish, at current prices, 2012-22
                        • Figure 7: Total US retail sales and forecast of fish and shellfish, at current prices, 2012-22
                    • Market Breakdown

                      • Fresh factoring significantly in fish favorites
                        • Figure 8: Total US retail sales and forecast of fish and shellfish, by segment, at current prices, 2012-22
                    • Market Perspective

                      • Poultry preferences
                        • Figure 9: Consumption frequency, September 2017
                        • Figure 10: Changes in food price indexes, August 2015-16
                      • Lower red meat sales
                        • Figure 11: US city average price per lb of 100% ground beef, Jan 2010-Aug 2016
                      • Fake fish attempts to leverage interest in meat alternatives
                      • Market Factors

                        • Health concerns could lead to fish consumption
                          • FDA, EPA fish consumption advice
                            • Mislabeling reputation could impact entire category
                              • Price-fixing scandal could negatively impact key shelf-stable brands
                              • Key Players – What You Need to Know

                                • Fresh flourishes in a largely stagnant category
                                  • Getting fresh
                                    • Shelf-stable struggles
                                      • Free-from claims gain environmental boost in fish/shellfish
                                      • Company and Brand Sales of Fish and Shellfish

                                        • Private label dominates market share, as StarKist merges health, flavor, and convenience
                                          • Sales of fish and shellfish by company
                                            • Figure 12: MULO sales of fish and shellfish, by leading companies, rolling 52 weeks 2016 and 2017
                                        • What’s Working?

                                          • Fresher options fare well
                                            • Figure 13: Notable fresh fish introductions, 2017
                                            • Figure 14: Natural, convenient, environmentally friendly new fish/shellfish products, 2012-17
                                        • What’s Struggling?

                                          • Declines among most shelf-stable brands, save for StarKist
                                            • Figure 15: Total US retail sales and forecast of shelf-stable fish and shellfish, at current prices, 2012-22
                                            • Figure 16: StarKist Kid's Creations Bacon Ranch Flavored Lightly Marinated Premium Chunk Light Tuna
                                        • What’s Next?

                                          • Free-from claims merging with environmental awareness
                                            • Figure 17: Better-for-you, environmental claims on fish/shellfish introductions, 2016-17
                                            • Figure 18: Fish/shellfish launches with free-from and environmental claims, 2017
                                        • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                          • Taste draws most consumers
                                            • Taste turns some away
                                              • Vast majority buy fish at supermarkets
                                                • Avoiding hormones, antibiotics in fish/shellfish
                                                  • Nutritional, developmental boost draws parental interest
                                                    • Lures for fish/shellfish
                                                    • Purchase

                                                      • Fresh or frozen, fish remains most popular
                                                        • Figure 19: Purchase of fish/shellfish, September 2017
                                                      • Mass merchandisers, natural supermarkets, online resonating strongly with younger consumers
                                                        • Figure 20: Purchase location, by age, September 2017
                                                        • Figure 21: Purchase location – Online, by age, September 2017
                                                      • Youngest consumers largely avoid category in grocery
                                                        • Figure 22: Purchase of fish/shellfish, by age, September 2017
                                                      • Hispanic Millennials more likely to opt for fresh fish and shellfish
                                                        • Figure 23: Purchase of fish/shellfish, by Hispanic origin, September 2017
                                                    • Purchase Reasons

                                                      • Taste leads purchase factors, health attributes factor strongly
                                                        • Figure 24: Reasons for purchase, September 2017
                                                      • Taste resonating with older consumers in particular
                                                        • Figure 25: Reasons for purchase, by age, September 2017
                                                      • Health, ease of cooking factor differently by race
                                                        • Figure 26: Reasons for purchase, by race, September 2017
                                                      • Hispanic non-Millennials regard category as healthier than other proteins
                                                        • Figure 27: Reasons for purchase, by Hispanic origin, September 2017
                                                      • Taste resonates most strongly across all segments
                                                        • Figure 28: Purchase of fish/shellfish, by reasons for purchase, August 2017
                                                    • Reasons for Avoidance

                                                      • Taste, aroma, price top reasons for avoiding fish/shellfish
                                                        • Figure 29: Reasons for avoidance, September 2017
                                                      • Taste, aroma deterring younger consumers; older consumers more likely to eat in restaurants
                                                        • Figure 30: Reasons for avoidance, by age, September 2017
                                                    • Purchase Location

                                                      • Supermarkets remain the biggest fish/shellfish resource
                                                        • Figure 31: Purchase location, September 2017
                                                      • Parents more likely to buy fish at mass merchandisers, club stores
                                                        • Figure 32: Purchase location, by number of children under 18 in household, September 2017
                                                    • Important Attributes

                                                      • Quality factors most strongly in both frozen and fresh choices
                                                        • Figure 33: Important attributes of frozen options, September 2017
                                                        • Figure 34: Important attributes of fresh options, September 2017
                                                      • Attribute importance varies across age ranges
                                                        • Figure 35: Important attributes of any fish/shellfish, by age, September 2017
                                                      • Consumers seek to avoid hormones, antibiotics in fish/shellfish
                                                        • Figure 36: Important free-from attributes of fish/shellfish, September 2017
                                                      • Nutritional aspects resonating with Hispanic Millennials
                                                        • Figure 37: Important attributes of any fish/shellfish, by Hispanic origin, September 2017
                                                    • Improvement Opportunities

                                                      • Packaging improvements could boost category
                                                        • Figure 38: Improvement opportunities, September 2017
                                                      • Flavor, health improvements could draw parents
                                                        • Figure 39: Improvement opportunities, by number of children under 18 in household, September 2017
                                                      • Packaging innovation potential in all segments
                                                        • Figure 40: Purchase of fish/shellfish, by improvement opportunities, August 2017
                                                      • Packaging improvements would resonate
                                                        • Figure 41: TURF analysis – Improvement opportunities among all consumers, September 2017
                                                        • Figure 42: TURF analysis – Improvement opportunities among fish/shellfish consumers, September 2017
                                                    • Attitudes toward Preparation

                                                      • Consumers confident in fish/shellfish preparation
                                                        • Figure 43: Attitudes toward fish/shellfish preparation, September 2017
                                                      • Suggestions could influence purchase
                                                        • Figure 44: Attitudes toward fish/shellfish preparation, any agree, by age, September 2017
                                                      • Hispanic Millennials express confidence in fish preparation
                                                        • Figure 45: Attitudes toward fish/shellfish preparation, any agree, by Hispanic origin, September 2017
                                                    • Attitudes toward Fish/Shellfish and Health

                                                      • Consumers largely perceive fish as better-for-you
                                                        • Figure 46: Attitudes toward fish/shellfish and health, September 2017
                                                      • Fish’s healthy attributes lost on younger consumers
                                                        • Figure 47: Attitudes toward fish/shellfish and health, by age, September 2017
                                                      • Parents’ positive health regard for fish
                                                        • Figure 48: Attitudes toward fish/shellfish and health, by number of children under 18 in household, September 2017
                                                      • Hispanics and the health of fish/shellfish
                                                        • Figure 49: Attitudes toward fish/shellfish and health, by Hispanic origin, September 2017
                                                    • Increasing Usage of Fish/Shellfish

                                                      • Lower price, sustainability could lure consumers to fish
                                                        • Figure 50: Attitudes toward fish/shellfish, September 2017
                                                      • Younger consumers seeking affordability, sustainability
                                                        • Figure 51: Attitudes toward fish/shellfish, by age, September 2017
                                                      • Price, sustainability would resonate with Hispanic Millennials
                                                        • Figure 52: Attitudes toward fish/shellfish, by Hispanic origin, September 2017
                                                    • Appendix – Data Sources and Abbreviations

                                                      • Data sources
                                                        • Sales data
                                                          • Fan chart forecast
                                                            • Consumer survey data
                                                              • Direct marketing creative
                                                                • Abbreviations and terms
                                                                  • Abbreviations
                                                                  • Appendix – The Market

                                                                      • Figure 53: Total US retail sales and forecast of fish and shellfish, at inflation-adjusted prices, 2012-22
                                                                      • Figure 54: Total US retail sales of fish and shellfish, by segment, at current prices, 2015 and 2017
                                                                      • Figure 55: Total US retail sales and forecast of fish and shellfish, by segment, at current prices, 2012-22
                                                                      • Figure 56: Total US retail sales and forecast of fresh fish and shellfish, at current prices, 2012-22
                                                                      • Figure 57: Total US retail sales and forecast of fresh fish and shellfish, at inflation-adjusted prices, 2012-22
                                                                      • Figure 58: Total US retail sales and forecast of frozen fish and shellfish, at current prices, 2012-22
                                                                      • Figure 59: Total US retail sales and forecast of frozen fish and shellfish, at inflation-adjusted prices, 2012-22
                                                                      • Figure 60: Total US retail sales and forecast of shelf-stable fish and shellfish, at current prices, 2012-22
                                                                      • Figure 61: Total US retail sales and forecast of shelf-stable fish and shellfish, at inflation-adjusted prices, 2012-22
                                                                      • Figure 62: Total US retail sales of fish and shellfish, by channel, at current prices, 2015 and 2017
                                                                      • Figure 63: US supermarket sales of fish and shellfish, at current prices, 2012-17
                                                                      • Figure 64: US sales of fish and shellfish through other retail channels, at current prices, 2012-17
                                                                  • Appendix – Key Players

                                                                      • Figure 65: MULO sales of fish and shellfish, by leading companies, rolling 52 weeks 2016 and 2017
                                                                      • Figure 66: MULO sales of fresh fish and shellfish, by leading companies and brands, rolling 52 weeks 2016 and 2017
                                                                      • Figure 67: MULO sales of frozen fish and shellfish, by leading companies and brands, rolling 52 weeks 2016 and 2017
                                                                      • Figure 68: MULO sales of shelf-stable fish and shellfish, by leading companies and brands, rolling 52 weeks 2016 and 2017
                                                                  • Appendix – The Consumer

                                                                      • Figure 69: Fresh/frozen fish/seafood usage, by gender, fall 2016
                                                                      • Figure 70: Fresh/frozen fish/seafood usage, by age, fall 2016
                                                                      • Figure 71: Fresh/frozen fish/seafood usage, by race, fall 2016
                                                                      • Figure 72: Fresh/frozen fish/seafood usage, by Hispanic origin, fall 2016
                                                                      • Figure 73: Fresh/frozen fish/seafood usage, by household income, fall 2016
                                                                      • Figure 74: Fresh/frozen fish/seafood usage, by education, fall 2016
                                                                      • Figure 75: Fresh/frozen fish/seafood usage, by size of household, fall 2016
                                                                      • Figure 76: Fresh/frozen fish/seafood usage, by parental status and number of children in household, fall 2016
                                                                      • Figure 77: Fresh/frozen fish/seafood usage, by region, fall 2016
                                                                      • Figure 78: Fresh/frozen fish/seafood usage, by gender and age, fall 2016